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Title: Focus on form(s) and meaning in a technology-enhanced language learning environment (TELL)
Authors: Naeb, Rola
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Despite decades of Instructed Second Language Acquisition research, there is still a dearth of research on the applicability of findings in different learning environments, pa1ticularly self-accessed technology-enhanced environments (TELL). In ISLA, types of input available in the classroom can be categorized as Focus on Meaning (FoM), Focus on Form (FoF) and Focus on FormS (FoS), (Doughty & Williams 1 998). In traditional classrooms, research indicates superiority of FoF and FoS (Spada & Tomita 2008, 20 I 0). The question sti II remains, though, of which type of input is most effective in TELL. One assumption about TELL is that it enhances input quantity and quality. That is, input is delivered in greater quantity and when the learner can make best use of it, better quality. Moreover, the type of interaction in TELL (human ­ software) is different to classroom interaction (hum an-human). Such differences are likely to affect both the learner's output (product) and the learner 's behaviour during learning (process). A stud y of 71 ESL learners, divided into three groups, was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of FOM, FOF, and FoS in a TELL Learner performance on a construct ion selected for its difficulty for L2 learners of English (indirect speech) was taken as a measure of intake. Data on pattern s of behaviour were obtained through log files to gauge pmticipants' awareness of form during task completion. Results revealed that all learners improved their performance on the construction selected after the treatment. However, the FoF group outperformed the other two groups. In tern1s of the contributing factors, task type, modality of input, processing time and number of trials were identified as effective factors. Contrary to what studies of classroom learners have shown, learners in the FoF and FoS groups chose not to focus on fonn even when they were stuck. They mostly behaved instead like FoM learners. This behaviour vitiates the effectiveness ofFoF or FoS in a TELL environment. The behaviour of one learner from each group was examined to aiTive at a more nuanced picture of these differences. These tlu-ee learners exhibited flip-flop behaviour where they kept switching between items. However, the FoS learner showed a more confident route which , however , resulted in lower attainment. The FoM learner displayed a more confused route. Finally the FoF learner showed a mixed pattern that ultimately led to better attainment on the target constmction .
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

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